So we were heading south now, towards warmer weather and the mountains. Stopping at Summersville lake, West Virginia, was very much worth it for the awesome scenery – see the first photo! We hiked to that point and it was fantastic, we were jealous of all the people cruising past in their boats though. We had a load of rain that night, but the tent held out beyond our expectations! Again, being outdoors felt great after 5 days in the city.
Our next stop was Asheville, North Carolina. We found another great little state park and spent another day lounging by a lake. (life is hard!) The next night we planned to spend in the van in downtown Asheville. Coming back from a bar James and I realised there was a really nice VW campervan parked in the same carpark as us, so we went over to investigate. It belonged to a very sound guy called Jonathan Poole, who has been living in it for 6 years and has travelled all over the USA and Mexico. We spent the remainder of the night with him, drinking beer, swapping stories and playing darts in his warehouse where he keeps his boat. He had loads to tell us, and of course we listened! He told us about the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a scenic route through the mountains of the same name. We followed it the next day and were so glad that we did. Slow and winding, with plenty of stops, it is a fantastic road. John also told us about some waterfalls (fresh and ice cold but we still went swimming) and a really nice hike up to a spectacular 360 degree view. We all had a great day so a big thanks goes to John for his advice! Next, continuing south into Georgia, where things got weirder.